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St. Croix County deputy is possible suicide victim

A St. Croix County sheriff's deputy is the apparent victim of a suicide.

Darren Hyland, 28, New Richmond, died Friday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The incident happened in Dunn County, said Sheriff Dennis Hillstead, and law officers there were handling the investigation.

Hillstead had not received the Dunn County officers' final report as of Tuesday noon.

Hyland, who was a member of the St. Croix County jail staff since May 2007, was on administrative leave.

"He was placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation into alleged acts of misconduct while on duty in the jail," the sheriff said.

Hillstead said it was the first incident of a suicide by a law enforcement officer who was currently employed that he could recall over the past 38 years.

"It's a difficult situation, both for those who worked alongside him and for the inmates. He was fairly well liked by a number of inmates," the sheriff said.

The sheriff said a crisis intervention team has been called in to help both inmates and members of the jail staff deal with the situation. A mental health therapist who visits the jail twice a week on a regular basis has been alerted.

Hillstead said Hyland took a psychological exam when he was hired by the county, which is a standard requirement for employment going back a number of years.

"Nothing indicated any tendencies toward misconduct or suicide," he said.

Hyland was born in St. Paul and graduated from Cumberland High School in 1999. He attended WITC in Rice Lake and graduated from Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire in 2001 with an associate degree in police science.

He worked as a reserve officer in Barron County and as a police officer in Cumberland, Frederic, Balsam Lake and Clear Lake before signing on with St. Croix County.

Hyland is survived by his parents, Dean and Debra Hyland, Cumberland, two brothers, one sister and a number of aunts and uncles. Funeral services were held Tuesday morning in Cumberland.